The Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis won the hearts and minds of members of the Southport Hebrew Congregation when he made a whistle- stop visit on Monday, 22nd June 2015. Although he was only with us for an hour and a half, the Chief Rabbi made a lasting impression on us all showing refreshing candour, sincerity, good humour and a commitment to offer help to smaller communities such as ourselves.
Arriving at 1pm, having previously taken part in four engagements in Manchester, the Chief Rabbi was first introduced to the Honorary Officers by Michael Braham and shown round the Synagogue. He was clearly impressed by the beauty of the Shul, which he described as “a Treasure”. After lunch in the Amelan Hall, Victor Isenwater introduced the Chief Rabbi and presented him with a pictorial history of Southport.
The Chief Rabbi, who is well on track to meet his target of visiting all Orthodox communities from Aberdeen to Exeter in his first three years of office, then took part in a lively question and answer session in which he was at pains to point out that he and his Office were aware of the difficulties confronting small communities and set out a number of practical suggestions, some of which have already been taken on board by the Management Committee.
The Chief Rabbi’s visit was over all too quickly but before leaving to go to ‘The Home’ and then on to St Annes, he promised to return in 2018 when we celebrate our 125th anniversary. I for one can’t wait to meet him again.